Derrck Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Douglas County running back Uriah West, left, and linebacker Braelen Oliver will lead the Tigers agianst Hapeville Charter tonight in a scrimmage.

The start of the Douglas County against Hapeville Charter spring football scrimmage was pushed back to an 8 p.m. kickoff for one purpose.

It will all the many expected college coaches to get to Jimmy Johnson Stadium in time to see some of the area’s top prospects compete against each other.

Both teams have a squad full of players that college coaches have been evaluating during the live NCAA period.

College assistant coaches from all levels have consistently been at Douglas County during the 10-day spring football period.

“We have had a lot come through,” Douglas County assistant head coach Travis Smith said. “We know they will be making their rounds for spring games. We wanted to push our game back to give them the opportunity to see our guys. Both teams have a lot of talent.”

The Tigers are hoping that talent will result in a playoff run this upcoming season. Douglas County missed the postseason last season in coach Johnny White’s first season by one game.

Building on last season’s 6-4 finish has been the motivation during spring drills.

“We have been competing this spring,” Smith said. “We wanted to play Hapeville Charter because they have some good talent. It will be a game-type atmosphere as we look to see our guys compete.

“We are hoping the sideline is full of scouts. We are not so caught up in winning, but seeing how much better we can get.”

One of the Hornets top prospects is cornerback Chris Smith, who is tagged a three-star prospect by 247Sports. He ranked the No. 36 prospect at his position by the online recruiting service.

He has 26 offers including the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Michigan and Southern Cal among the school trying to sign him.

The Tigers will have several wide receivers that will test Smith including Christian Jackson, a junior, and sophomore Dariyan Wiley, who has been impressive this spring.

Smith wants to take a look at his quarterbacks during the scrimmage as three players are still competing for the starting spot. Last season, sophomore Marquise Collins played in 10 games and threw for 478 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow sophomore J.J. Richards played in one game.

Throw incoming freshman Justin Franklin into the mix. Franklin led Factory Shoals Middle to back-to-back county championships.

Collins calls the competition for the starting spot “healthy” for him and the team.

“We are definitely pushing each other,” Collins said. “It is about making each other better to see who will lead this team.”

Running track this spring has seem to help running backs Uriah West and Deon Rainey.

“They have some good speed,” Smith said.

The players say they are welcome the competition from Hapeville Charter.

“We are ready to play, and we know it will be a lot of exposure,” junior Charles Gadie said. “We showed last year that we are a good team. This is just the beginning for us.”

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